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Connor A. Davis v. Thompson et al

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


March 1, 2012

CONNOR A. DAVIS, PETITIONER,
v.
THOMPSON ET AL., RESPONDENTS.

ORDER

Petitioner, a county jail inmate proceeding pro se, has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, together with an application to proceed in forma pauperis. Examination of the in forma pauperis application reveals that petitioner is unable to afford the costs of suit. Accordingly, the application to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).

PRELIMINARY SCREENING

Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases allows a district court to dismiss a petition if it "plainly appears from the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court. . . ." Rule 4, Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. The Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 8 indicate that the court may dismiss a petition for writ of habeas corpus at several stages of a case, including "summary dismissal under Rule 4; a dismissal pursuant to a motion by the respondent; a dismissal after the answer and petition are considered; or a dismissal after consideration of the pleadings and an expanded record."

BACKGROUND

On December 6, 2011, petitioner commenced this action by filing a petition for writ of habeas corpus with this court. Therein, he alleges that the Colusa County Sheriff's Department and the Colusa County court system, including its judges, the district attorney, and his public defender, have all failed to provide him with adequate mental health care. In this regard, petitioner contends that he needs to be transferred to a treatment facility where he can receive appropriate care. Petitioner also contends that he is not receiving adequate food and heating at the Colusa County Jail where he is currently confined. (Pet. at 3-4.)

ANALYSIS

The instant petition will be dismissed because petitioner has failed to state a cognizable claim for federal habeas relief. Petitioner is advised that habeas corpus proceedings are the proper mechanism for a prisoner seeking to challenge the fact or duration of his confinement. Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 484 (1973). Here, petitioner does not challenge the legality of his conviction, a parole proceeding, or other adjudication that has led to his current incarceration. Rather, petitioner challenges the conditions of his confinement. Petitioner is advised that a civil rights action, not a habeas corpus proceeding, is the proper mechanism for a prisoner seeking to challenge the conditions of his confinement. 42 U.S.C. § 1983; Badea v. Cox, 931 F.2d 573, 574 (9th Cir. 1991). Accordingly, petitioner is not entitled to habeas corpus relief, and this habeas action will be dismissed without prejudice to filing a civil rights action.*fn1

OTHER MATTERS

Also pending before the court are several motions from petitioner, including a motion for appointment of counsel. In light of the conclusion reached above that this habeas action must be dismissed, the court will deny petitioner's motions as moot.

Rule 11 of the Federal Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases states that "the district court must issue or deny a certificate of appealability when it enters a final order adverse to the applicant." A certificate of appealability should be granted for any issue that petitioner can demonstrate is "'debatable among jurists of reason,'" could be resolved differently by a different court, or is "'adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed further.'" Jennings v. Woodford, 290 F.3d 1006, 1010 (9th Cir. 2002) (quoting Barefoot v. Estelle, 463 U.S. 880, 893 (1983)). For the reasons set forth above, the court declines to issue a certificate of appealability in this action.

CONCLUSION

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

1. Petitioner's motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. No. 7) is granted;

2. Petitioner's application for writ of habeas corpus (Doc. No. 1) is dismissed without prejudice to filing a civil rights action;

3. Petitioner's motions (Doc. Nos. 8, 12 & 13) are denied as moot;

4. A certificate of appealabilty is not issued in this action; and

5. This action is closed.


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